Latest catalogue – Autumn 2023 available HERE
“For the past 10 years, with about ten books per year, Les Fourmis Rouges (Red Ants) have been patiently and independently building up their “anthill”.
An independent publishing house means the freedom to take risks. The freedom to trust authors over the long term: waiting for them while being by their side, guiding them without rushing, believing in them until they succeed. But it also means keeping a close eye on our bank account (because there it is, the Achilles’ heel of independence: liquid assets) and measuring the risks so as not to drag down with us authors who don’t deserve to see their books disappear.
During this first decade, Covid unsettled us but we then had an exceptional year during which the booksellers sold the books of our backlist. Books that are sold for a long time, defying the industrialisation of books. Being a publisher is also about striking the right balance between new titles and the backlist.
We had to choose ten books for these ten years. How do you choose ten books when you cherish them all? Even those that went unnoticed or didn’t sell well. They’ve all made us grow.
But fine, let’s go for ten. This one for its design? This other one for its tenderness and rhythm? And this one for its humour? No. Important books have it all at once.
Les Fourmis are tiny: Rozenn Samson, a work-study student and me. But they are strong thanks to over a hundred books and as many authors. Without them, no “anthill”. Let’s thank them all a thousand times.
A big thank-you to the booksellers who have followed us from day one and for each new publication. Thanks to the librarians who play a key role for us. Let’s thank the journalists who, despite the room dedicated to children’s literature, find space for our books. And a thank-you to the children who read our books and love them. Working for them is an important responsibility because they deserve the best. But it is also an incredible luck: they preserve in us the imagination and the lightness we desperately need to live. Whether we are five, fifty or ten, let’s try not to take ourselves too seriously…
And let’s tell stories! That’s how we are human.”
Valérie Cussaguet, founder and publisher of Les Fourmis Rouges.